Garage Band on iOS, Track Fading, and Importing Sounds – 100% iPad Workflow

I am working with a group of high school students who want to make podcasts entirely from their iPads. They’re doing this with Garage Band, which is the natural choice in my opinion. Garage Band on iOS has some limitations that the full Garage Band on Mac doesn’t have, of course, but I have found some workarounds.

Garage Band for iOS does not come with the iLife Sound Effects that the Mac version has. My school purchased a site license for sounds years ago that the kids can use in movie projects where sound effects and royalty free music were not available the kids. We’re glad we have that now so they have access to these sounds from their iPads. They’re hosted on our school’s file server which the kids can access through WebDav file sharing.

The real difficulty here comes when trying to add these sounds to Garage Band on an iPad. In order to add sounds to a song in Garage Band, as the system is designed, best practice would be to put the sound into your computer’s iTunes Library, and then sync that library to your iPad. They you can just access those sounds through the media browser in Garage Band. But since this is a shared collection of MP3 files on our server, and since not every student in our school has access to a computer with iTunes to sync sounds to their iPads, that system doesn’t work for us. The solution for us requires a 100% iPad workflow.

Another issue with Garage Band for iOS is the absence of fade controls for individual tracks or sound clips. Garage Band does include, in version 2.0.6, the ability to fade the end of the entire song, but only at the very end and only fade out, not fade in. The workflows below will show a solution for this problem as well.

The following apps are required for this workflow (maybe there are other apps out there, but this is what I’ve come up with so far):

  • AudioShare – can open and convert MP3 files to a Garage Band compatible file, trim and fade and copy it to the clipboard for pasting into Garage Band tracks.
  • AudioCopy – is a free app that AudioShare requires as a companion app. AudioCopy is how AudioShare handles the copying portion of this workflow. You won’t see AudioCopy mentioned in this workflow because it is automatically used by AudioShare when needed, however it has a nice gesture based sound editor, so try it out if you like that sort of thing.
  • WebDAV Nav+ – MP3 files are shared via WebDAV on our school network. This app (you could use any WebDAV app for iPad) let’s us download the MP3s from our file server.
  • Garage Band for iOS – can layer audio tracks, has built in musical instruments so kids can make their own jingles and background audio songs, and the audio recorder has some great sound effects you can use to alter the way your voice sounds. One kid could have multiple characters!

A Summary of the Workflow:
Files are downloaded using WebDAV Nav+ and then opened in AudioShare. AudioShare will convert the files to a format that can be copied and pasted into Garage Band on your iPad and also includes an editor that can trim and fade tracks. Additionally, sounds created in Garage Band can be sent to AudioShare for fading in and out, an edit that is not built into Garage Band.

Here is the workflow to add a shared MP3 from our WebDAV Server:

  1. Locate the desired MP3 in WebDAV Nav+
  2. Use the Open in… feature to open the MP3 in AudioShare
  3. In AudioShare, use the Tools -> Convert feature to make it a format compatible for pasting into Garage Band on iPad (just using the default settings of the convert tool works great).
  4. In AudioShare, hit the AudioCopy button and choose AudioCopy 2 as the pasteboard.
  5. Head into Garage Band and paste the audio into a new audio track. Or …
  6. From the tools menu you can choose Trim & Fade, make your adjustments and then copy and paste your track over to Garage Band.

If you want to fade a particular track you’re working with in Garage Band, here’s the workflow:

  1. Isolate the track you want to fade by muting all other tracks in your Garage Band file.
  2. Head out to the My Songs section of Garage Band. Use the Select button to choose your song. Give it a meaningful name to help you identify it in your AudioShare library. If they’re all called “My Song” you’re going to get confused.
  3. Select the sharing arrow (sharrow) button in Garage Band and select Open in… Select AudioShare to open the sound.
  4. Use the Tools -> Convert feature of AudioShare to make it a Garage Band compatible format, then with Tools -> Trim & Fade you can fade in and out, and trim the track to the desired length.
  5. Select the Save button when you’re finished and
  6. Select the AudioCopy button and choose AudioCopy 2 as the pasteboard and then head back into Garage Band.
  7. Back in Garage Band now, create a new blank audio track and paste in your copied clip from AudioShare.



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Sometimes that article you find while researching is just too hard to read…

This website can adjust the reading level on an article to help reach the appropriate reading level for the student and to adjust to a more challenging reading level to promote growth.

Newsela | About Newsela

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iPhone Photography

I recently discovered a fantastic photography app for my iPhone called Slow Shutter. Basically, the app allows you to slow down the shutter speed of your iPhone’s camera, so that when your phone is mounted on a tripod (I use the Joby GripTight mount) it can allow motion to blur while stable items stay sharply focused.

The image you see here at the right was made through a combination of Slow Shutter to achieve the blurred water motion effect and Snapseed to do some gentle tweaks to the exposure and focus.


Have a look at these two apps:

Slow Shutter is $0.99 in the App Store

Snapseed is FREE in the App Store


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iPads in my classroom? No, iCan’t!

Yes you can integrate technology even if you don’t know everything!

iCantYou don’t have to know everything there is to know about an iPad, or any piece of technology, before you start integrating it into your curriculum. You are an expert in your discipline, or grade level. You know what the students need to learn, and integrating technology into your students’ learning doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers about iPads also! Continue reading

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Increasing Access to Technology

Schools are about learning. Their goal is to provide the best education they can and to prepare students to be life long learners, productive members of our society, and engaged in their personal growth. Students need to be able to think on their feet, come up with creative solutions to life’s challenges, and utilize the tools at their disposal to their fullest to make it in this fast-paced future they’re facing.

Schools must embrace technology in education. Technology is not a flash-in-the-pan-fad (few would argue it is), and technology is a significant part of the lives of our students. For their sake, I believe technology must be a significant part of their education as well. Continue reading

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Printing a Web Page to PDF from Google Chrome for iOS

Here’s a link to a post I just wrote for iPad Connect.
Google Drive and Google Chrome for iOS have a powerful link! You can now print any page being viewed from Google Chrome for iOS as a PDF and have that PDF saved to your Google Drive account. Then you can use that PDF in all the fun ways we use them, like opening and annotating in Remarks or UPAD, or turning in something to Canvas. Continue reading

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Facebook 4/16 Update – Most Recent News Feed

UPDATE: After playing with the app for one day, and even after Facebook’s newest release of 6.0.1 to “fix the news feed for some users”, I have discovered that the Most Recent selection you’ll make following the directions below does not “stick”. The app, as of 4/17, forgets it after a while and goes back to Top Stories. It’s crap, but I’ve gotten used to it with Facebook. You should too!

So, Facebook updated their iPhone app again. I’d love to have a chat with Facebook’s iOS designers about their user interface, but I know that will never happen. So, with each update comes a new series of puzzles to solve. The one that bugs me the most is how Facebook really seems to want me to see the Top Stories in my News Feed instead of the Most Recent, which is really what I would prefer. Do I really want to see a story that’s 2 months old just because someone recently posted a comment to it? No, not really. Here’s how you can get your Most Recent News Feed view back. Continue reading

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